Slip Disc or Disc Herniation, does it sound familiar? Well undoubtedly it has been among the most prevalent cause of lower back pain these days. Nevertheless, it typically has a prevalence of 10 % in an individual’s lifetime. However, only 5% of the individual who suffers from Herniated disc are symptomatic. Studies shows that it affects male more often than female to a 3:1 ratio.
Let’s take a look at What’s a Disc Herniation?
Disc herniation is when a damaged annulus fibrosus allows the nucleus pulposus to displace from intervertebral space causing herniation or bulge. Sounds confusing? To put it in layman’s term, it’s basically when the soft jelly like disc(nucleus) in between two bones in your spine protrude out of its ruptured outer layer (annulus fibrosus) due to a possible trauma or strain. The protruded disc may or may not impinge the nerve leading to various neurological symptoms. This happens most commonly in your lower back (lumbar) at L5/S1 region.
Here are some of the most common causes of Disc Herniation below:
Degeneration- due to old age our nucleus pulposus typically becomes weakened and dehydrated. As people age, there is more wear and tear, the discs become less flexible and more prone to tearing or rupturing with even a minor strain or twist
Trauma- can happen when an individual suffers a blow due to accident or fall on their back.
Congenital Disorders- Happens at birth when there’s certain malformation that happens in an individual’s bone structure such as, misshaped pelvis or a lumbosacral malformation.
Mechanical- due to difference in load distribution, for instance it can be due to improper posture, or jobs that are physically demanding that require you to push, pull or lift heavy objects.
Genetic- lacking of hydration and collagen in nucleus pulposus and annulus, typically runs in the family for generations.
How do we in BP Chiro, evaluate if you are suffering from Disc Herniation?
Well, it starts as soon as u set foot into our Dr’s room, we start of by watching your gait, which is the way you walk into our clinic, thereafter we ask you a series of medical history, do appropriate physical examination, check on your range of motion, sensory, reflexes and so on. Adding to that we do an orthopaedic test, it’s a test that recreates the pain you have which allows us to narrow down to a proper diagnosis. If you happen to have neurological signs (numbness, tingling) we would first advise you to do an MRI. Why you ask? It allows us to evaluate in precision the region of slip disc and the possible nerve compromised.
What are the signs and symptoms to look out for?
Treatment is administered from case-to-case basis, tailor made for each and every individual as no one individual is the same. Here are some treatments that you can expect to look forward to:
Spinal Manipulation Therapy: Patients spine are manually manipulated in a side lying with minimal to no torsional stress on the affected disc.
Deep tissue therapy on affected muscles that are in tension.
Ultrasound therapy to reduce pain, decrease inflammation only on the superficial tissue surrounding the herniation.
CBP lumbar extension traction to relieve pain and to recover joint functions by reducing pressure on discs or nerves
Exercises such as Lumbar McKenzie exercise, Proprioceptive exercises, Strengthening exercise, Flexibility exercise, Motor control exercise, mirror image exercises.
Doctor of Chiropractic